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Poster: Ryan Schweitzer Date: Feb 7, 2007 12:11am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best device for live recording

Ok, I know my last reply to this thread was about 2+ years ago, but I came across this thread again, and I still have some questions for mr. thoman8r (if he even comes across this thread again as well).

"I find it interesting that you would be so sure a technology no one's used yet would be so much more reliable than one that apparently you've never used and have only "heard" is unreliable."

But I've heard it from people I know who've worked with DAT, as well as having some actual experience with the format, mind you. I work part-time at a public radio station here in town, and me and my boss there got to talking about DAT (which was used at the station about a decade or more ago). My boss told me all the trouble and hassle he had with DAT in the past, mainly dropouts and such. And when I was playing back a DAT tape once at the station, I did hear a couple of dropouts. The deck was properly maintained (and the tape hadn't had very many passes), it's just you can't expect too much from a 4mm wide wind of tape in a cassette. I've never had the same experience with MD.

"I've never seen a taper use a "professional grade" MD recorder. Probably because for the same price (or maybe less) you can get a DAT without all the pitfalls of MD."

First off, what pitfalls? I've used MD for quite a while, and limited recording times aside with standard MDs (with the exception of MD-LP & HiMD), it's a rock-solid format. Plus, since the 2+ years that have passed from our last debate here, I still haven't heard any criticisms toward HiMD's performance.

"The needs of an audio taper and the needs of the radio industry are very different."

In what ways? Both tapers and radio producers record audio on-location, no? And I'm sure radio producers (namely those in public radio, i.e. NPR, PRI, and such) record the same amounts of audio time-wise that jamband tapers do, but in their case, interviews of people or natural sound for use as production elements for a radio news story. Probably sometimes even more than a taper, as in hours & hours, depending on the complexity of the story or how many people need to be interviewed. I don't see a difference between taper & radio feature recording, save for the more elaborate, esoteric, & somewhat eldritch mic setups tapers have, while a radio producer would use a more utilitarian (but still high-performance) model of mic.

"There's nothing wrong with ATRAC per se, but there's no doubt that PCM is preferable. Therefore given the choice why wouldn't you go with the medium that recorded to PCM? The bigger problem with the MD recorders is the AD is absolute crap in every single one of them. The D8's AD isn't great but even it's still light years ahead of an MD's."

But AD/DA chipset technology would have have to taken leaps and bounds, even in the lowest end of MD decks, since the TCD-D8's debut 15 or so years ago. Both the D8 & M1 have been around a pretty long while, and as with all technologies, what was high-end back then is now commonplace. An entry-level MD/HiMD recorder nowadays would more than likely have a AD/DA stage comparable to a DAT recorder of yore such as a D8. If this weren't the case, all our Intel Core Duo-based PCs would still be running MS-DOS 3.3.

"A 90m DDS tape costs me $2.65. I'm willing to bet a Hi-MD disc is likely to be much more than that. "

But yes, those are DDS, not DAT, tapes. DDS tapes, albeit technically superior to DAT-branded tapes, don't have the AHRA (Audio Home Recording Act) royalty costs attached to them, if I am not mistaken. So, that's a bit of an unfair comparison. I will concede though, that HiMD discs are more expensive, about $5.99 a piece (at least from But with ATRAC3Plus, you can record 34(!)hours on the same disc. Oh, but I forgot, ATRAC and its ilk are the anti-audio to you all, even though it sounds pretty transparent to me. If you don't care about lossy compression, but do care about it still sounding decent (like ATRAC), HiMD is a bargain.

"There's no reason to believe it will be necessary to record on a medium such as MD or Hi-MD in the near future. There are already better technologies for an audio taper's needs on a similar price level."

I do concur there, the whole subject of DAT recording is getting quite moot, what with most tapers now resorting to recording directly to hard disk (either on a laptop outfitted with external A/D audio gear, or standalone hard disk recorders), or even directly to memory card recorders. With harddisk & memory card storage space increasing with the cost of such decreasing, that would be the best way to go anyway. But HiMD recorders are quite a bit more portable than a laptop, and less expensive than a standalone HD/memory recorder, and can record 35-45 hours or more on HiMD, if you don't mind the compression.

But, as the old maxim goes, to each their own.

And irdial, thanks for replying to this thread as well. That's interesting that you were using the digital outs/ins, sounds like the error correction technologies for DAT weren't completely refined then (at least for that model of deck). It's good to see someone backing me up, and straight from the horse's mouth even. ;)


This post was modified by Ryan Schweitzer on 2007-02-07 08:00:01

This post was modified by Ryan Schweitzer on 2007-02-07 08:08:35

This post was modified by Ryan Schweitzer on 2007-02-07 08:11:02

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Poster: alanizj Date: Feb 7, 2007 12:46am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best device for live recording

you know... i owned a HiMD player.... and while i loved the qualityof the sound and the affordability of the media... after about 4 months i started having problems with the unit it self. Somtimes it would record and save, and i would be able too listen to what i recorded.... then i would go back mabey a half day later an it would read CANNOT PLAY OR RECORD.... then ask if i would like to format it. Then one day I ejected the disk and a little peice fell out of the unit. Turns out it was the peice that records to the disk....and that was the end of my MD player.
So I decieded to buy a M-audio Microtrack 24/96. First thing it has no mocing parts to be worried about. Second it records in WAV and Mp3 and You get to choose the the bit rate too. yah, the compact flash cards are a little on the expensive side, but if you look you can get a good deal. I got a 4gig card for 80 bucks. It comes with a pretty decent stereo mic kind of like the one that comes with the MD recorder, but with much better frequency responce. It also has a 1/8 inch stereo plug, 1/4 inch L/R plugs, L/R Monitor outs ect... The Only thing is the battery cant be changed...its internal, so there is a chance for running out of juice. But its been reliable and easy to use.